Nexus Innovation Challenge - Curriculum

Nexus Innovation Challenge Nexus Innovation Challenge - Curriculum

2021 Nexus Innovation Challenge - Curriculum

Your interprofessional team will identify a challenge, an opportunity, or ongoing project that requires new thinking. This nine-month program will coach your team through the design, testing, and implementation of a solution using Design Thinking skills that are broadly useful. The flexible program includes four short modules, four live team-learning sessions, time for your team to work together on your selected initiative, and an interactive presentation, feedback, and coaching session.

Elements of a successful challenge idea should include:

  1. Interprofessional collaboration among health professionals and/or other key stakeholders or sectors;
  2. Specific goal to address diversity, disparities, equity and racism;
  3. Intentional engagement of patients, families, caregivers, communities, populations; and
  4. Support of leaders within the organization committed to working toward galvanizing systemic change.

As part of the experience, all teams will be asked to define an actionable outcome for their challenge statement and share a progress report.  Important considerations for the challenge idea and defined actionable outcome include:

  • Importance to the team

  • Actionable

  • Ease of Implementation

  • Patient Family Engagement

  • Measurable Impact

Click on the sections below to read more about the Nexus Innovation Challenge Team-Based Learning Sessions. Teams are encouraged to attend all live events together. The live events will be recorded and archived for team members.

Introduction to the Nexus Innovation Challenge: Principles of Design Thinking

In an effort to immerse teams in the design thinking mindset, a series of four brief online modules will be shared with all team members.  Teams are asked to view the modules independently – or together – and then schedule time for a team debriefing to talk about what was learned.  Innovation Challenge facilitators will be available to join team debrief sessions to support the learning and reflection. The modules will explore:

  • Intro to Design Thinking
  • Empathy and Reframing the Challenge
  • Ideation and Prototyping
  • How to Pitch It

Timeline: Modules will be released for self-paced viewing in January 2021.  Teams should view the four modules and host a team debrief by the end of January 2021.

Building on our Foundation: Applying NCICLE Principles for an Interprofessional Future

Collaboration across professions and organizations has been critical to surviving the massive upheaval of the current environment. This course will focus on lessons learned from frontline clinical educators and leaders to better prepare for the clinical learning environments in the future.  The interactive workshop will include a focus on structures, processes and outcomes to best serve learners, educators, care teams and patients through active learning.

Created in 2015, National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment (NCICLE) is comprised of 34-member organizations representing the majority of U.S health professions from all aspects of healthcare. The primary goal of NCICLE is to optimize the clinical learning environment for all learners within healthcare. The impacts of technology, specialization, access to health information, and new delivery structures require the various health professions to think differently and purposefully about how to simultaneously optimize learning and patient care. This course explores interprofessional, systems-based approaches to optimizing clinical learning environment’s (CLEs) for health care’s future. Group activities will engage participants in a stakeholder assessment and strategy activity along with designing team-oriented structures and approaches that inform hospital and ambulatory leaders how to best serve learners, educators, and the care team.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify strategic partners key to integrating interprofessional learning into the clinical learning environment.
  2. Describe actional strategies for developing and supporting team-oriented structures.
  3. Discuss both challenges and opportunities to engage leadership at the participants organization.

Timeline: January 27 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. CT

Flipping IPE and Working in the Nexus

This workshop, led by the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, will ground the work of Innovation Challenge participant teams in the concept and reality of the Nexus - redesigning interprofessional practice and education (IPE) together with the communities and patients we serve. The National Center's work across the United States, with hundreds of organizations at every level of IPE implementation, focuses intentionally designing healthcare education and healthcare delivery with all stakeholders to be better integrated and more interprofessional while demonstrating outcomes. 

Participants will:

  • Describe what is happening today in interprofessional education, practice and collaboration
  • Compare and contrast "traditional" interprofessional education with interprofessional practice and education and the possibilities to engage more intentionally with stakeholders including patients and the community
  • Articulate ways in which their own Nexus Innovation Challenge projects can be rooted in the communities they serve

Timeline: February 10 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. CT

Getting Started: Setting the Stage for Design Thinking

Before diving into solutions, it is crucial to look at the challenge from a variety of stakeholder perspectives, including those not yet considered.   This 90-minute live virtual workshop is intended to orient teams to the key concepts of design thinking and begin to gain insights into the challenge from a variety of perspectives.   Teams will participate in the live session together, including dedicated time for teams to work on their challenge statements.  It is important that all members of the team participate in the session as it is an important building block contributing to the design process.

Design thinking facilitators will work with teams in large and small group settings to support learning and application of key concepts.

Setting the Stage for Design Thinking
10 min | Chris Purdy and David Lang

Stakeholder Empathy
30 min | Team Breakouts

Reframing the Challenge
30 min | Team Breakouts

Share Your Challenge Statement
10 min | All Teams

Wrap Up / Tee Up for Journey Mapping
10 min | Chris Purdy and David Lang

Timeline: February 24 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Innovation Challenge, Part 1: Ideation, Prototyping, and Initial Testing

As part of the application process, each team has identified a challenge statement that summarizes the intent and focus on their work. The topics of focus emerged from Nexus Summit 2020 and teams are encouraged to reflect on conference resources as they consider approaches to their challenge.

All challenge statements should address interprofessional collaboration as well as one of the following topics:

  1. Diversity, disparities and equity or
  2. Patients, families, caregivers, communities, populations or
  3. Galvanizing systemic change

Design thinking facilitators will work with teams in large and small group settings to support learning and application of key concepts.

Intro to the Workshop
15 min | The National Center and NCICLE

Intro to Journey Mapping
15 min | Chris Purdy and David Lang

Ideation and Prototyping (Journey Mapping)
1 hour – 15 min | Team Breakouts

Create the Storyboard/ Developing Actionable Plan
60 min | Team Breakouts

Wrap Up /Prep for Presentation
15 min | The National Center and NCICLE

Timeline: March 10 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Launching from the workshop exercise outcomes, teams will submit their detailed Design and Implementation Plans by March 22, 2021. The design and implementation plan will include a goal statement, summary, metrics and implementation timeline.

Innovation Challenge, Part 2: Team Presentation and Feedback

Innovation Challenge teams will be invited to share their design thinking proposal with a panel of judges and other Innovation Challenge teams.  Each team will have the opportunity to present their idea as well as listen to the ideas of other teams.  Following the presentations, all teams are invited to participate in learning session with facilitators and expert judges to discussion overarching themes, as well as synthesize findings and lessons learned.

Session Outline

  • Teams present in front of everyone judges and other teams
  • Judging team identifies overarching themes and provides overall feedback in front of all attendees
  • Written detailed feedback provided privately to each team
  • Award for best proposal/presentation

Timeline: Week of April 12, 2021 Date and Time TBD

National Center Office Hours: Tackling Emerging Themes in IPE

Designed around common themes that emerge from the Innovation Challenge teams' projects, the National Center Office Hours will provide opportunities for teams to consult with leaders across the spectrum of IPE implementation, and each other, to understand the challenges and opportunities that emerge and develop strategies for success. These Office Hours will be a complement to the teams' individual work with their coaches, and provide time for teams to network and collaborate with each other.


May 26 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. CT

August 11 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. CT

Team-based Debrief Sessions with Design Coaches
During the team implementation phase between April and August, each team will coordinate two check-in meetings with their design coaches to talk through progress with their implementation action plan as well as receive feedback and discuss any questions. These sessions are designed to continue supporting teams in the real-life application of design thinking principles.

Timeline: April - August 2021

Innovation Challenge Progress Reports

All teams will be invited to participate in the Innovation Challenge Progress Reports.   Teams will be asked to share updates on their progress toward their defined actionable plan and measurable outcome following a six-month implementation period. 

Timeline: September 2021, Date and Time TBD